Electronic music today is an integral part of our daily existence: clubs are our temples of escapism and cracked copies of Ableton have become tools of global creative liberation. But among the abundance of emerging producers, the most valuable voices are the ones trying to reflect the challenges of our generation and complexity of being human in the 21st century. Based in Paris via London, Ivo Pacheco aka IVVVO is one of them. His track, Mark Leckey Made Me Hardcore emerged last year at Raf Simons' Spring/Summer 2016 show: mixed together with sounds from Leckey's celebrated video ode to British underground nightlife ….Hardcore established the Portuguese producer's tunes as part of a global cultural movement. Coming next from the man who counts Arca as a fan is new EP Good, Bad, Baby, Horny, released this Friday. The four-track release fuses irregular beats and jungle influences with sound effects borrowed from 90s video games, heavy breathing and screams - tied together in a intense hymn to teenage angst, millennial anxiety and the agony of global political crisis. Good, Bad, Baby, Horny is a violent, melancholic soundtrack about coming in terms with our physicality in the framework of daily digital experience. As much a sonic examination of self, scrolling through never-ending newsfeeds in our lonely bedrooms, the record is also an unlikely, but timely, fit for club basements of our capital cities - and beyond.
i-D talked to IVVVO about his upcoming EP, instant celebrity culture, generational anxiety and elusive nostalgia for the 90s.
How did you initially get into music?
When I turned 18 I started going out in Porto, when I'm from. Most of the people I was hanging out with were DJs and older than me, so music was a way to integrate, to be part of things. I started it as a hobby and then realised that music was the only thing I was actually enjoying doing. I released something in 2012 and from then I just kept rolling. But I remember when I was a kid I used to get a couple of shoe boxes and put one on each side of the bed and pretend they were speakers and I was on stage performing.
As a self-taught producer, what would you say is the most important thing to know for someone starting out?
I think to some extent it's very easy to make music today because you have all these softwares and they are accessible to everybody and easy to use. It's very easy to grab a piece of software and try to be like someone else - but it's hard to do things your own way and find your own language. You always feel the necessity to integrate and you end up sounding like someone else because you want to be accepted.
Do you think the social-media driven, instant celebrity culture has to deal with this pressure as well?
Definitely. Every day there is a new music producer, a new writer, a new sculptor - and because there is so many people it's really difficult. People also have this necessity to grow fast and get known so they don't give themselves time to explore creative possibilities or what they would like to say. Also when people around you are getting known and you're not it's a really hard feeling - particularly when you are in the same field. In the end you're constantly anxious and frustrated - but you just need to give time to yourself.
What's the direction you've taken with your new EP Good, Bad, Baby, Horny?
I really wanted to escape from the club scene. I used to be more into being a DJ but then I started writing music more about myself than other people. I used to be always focused on what other people are going to think or feel, and I wanted to change that. In the EP you can feel the nostalgia for the 90s, the teen spirit. It's a lot about me and my experiences but also that rage, pain, love, and necessity for freedom and need to express ourselves we all feel. I don't know why but I live a lot in the nostalgia for the times I haven't seen, like 90s raves which I was too young to witness. It seems to me that people then didn't really worry, they'd go to raves and dance until the morning without thinking about the consequences. Now you go to the club and you are always worried about pictures on social media you'd see the day after.
What emotions did you focus on when you were composing the EP?
I thought a lot about when I moved to London, all the crazy things I did and all the anxiety I lived with. I think we live in the real anxiety moment. All my generation is fucking anxious, all my friends and people I know are anxious about their future. My work is also about the necessity of thriving - you're always within the limit but you never truly blossom, you're always concerned about money and how the future looks - because it looks awful at the moment for everybody. But then, in the EP there is there is also romantic vision of love and pain and all the feelings we have.
Is that why you used so many human sounds on the EP, like the heavy breathing?
The human emotions are very important to me, and aesthetically I like using various human sounds, not only vocals - it creates a feeling of intimacy, you can easily have an image of it in your head, travel straight to the experience.
Did you think of larger cultural context when making the record?
One of my biggest inspirations is Mark Leckey's celebrated video Fioricci Made Me Hardcore which is a lot about subcultures. I am very inspired by subcultures. Subcultures for me are about expression - we are in this moment and we're fighting for this freedom. I think subcultures don't happen anymore on that level. But maybe this moment we are living now is going to be a big reason to bring back the subcultures and major youth movements. The rise of youth culture happening in Ukraine is a beautiful example I think, of people joining forces together. It comes from a necessity of rebelling, all the things which happened in the last two years - they are thriving and it's beautiful. That's why I think we live a great time. It is crisis but it's a good moment for people to stand up and say something.
Good, Bad, Baby, Horny is out Friday on Halcyon Veil.
Text Anastasiia Fedorova